Package inspection carried out at woundcare manufacturers

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Olmec-UK has designed and installed an end-of-line inspection system at a leading manufacturer of woundcare products. The inspection system uses infrared imaging technology and links directly to the outfeed of the existing packaging machine, which seals the woundcare product into a four-sided pouch. It has been designed to inspect for empty pouches, pouches with the incorrect amount of dressings, and dressings trapped in seals.

The vision system is mounted between two conveyor belts and features a single, 2,048 pixel line scan camera equipped with IR lens pass filters mounted above the line and an IR light mounted underneath. The movement of packages along the belt below the high resolution line scan camera results in high quality images.

At an IR wavelength of 880nm the paper packaging material transmits far more light than the products inside, allowing the presence and position of the product to be verified easily including whether it is trapped in the seal. The system is capable of inspecting the 100 products per minute arriving from the packaging machine.

Image processing is carried out on a PC mounted within the system, with results displayed on a 19-inch industrial touch screen. Incorrectly packaged products are automatically rejected, while properly produced products are transferred to an existing collator. There are provisions to make the line stop in the event of a false reject or false acceptance.